As the Worm Turns!

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, Idaho)

Chris turned me on to my roots a couple of years ago going back to fishing with worms. I am so thankful for his articles on "Upstream Worm" fishing. You know worm fishing is effective since I find it banned in many of the places I want to fish! (See the articles on the "overhand worm" so you can still fish worms.

I have found size 20-22 wide gap scud hooks make an excellent double hook set-up that Chris talks about in his articles. I personally have found it to be more effective than the triple hook set-up that W.C. Stewart promoted. However, my favorite set-up is the Gamakatsu Amago Hook size 7.5 snelled with 18 inches of 6.5x fluorocarbon tippet. The shape of this hook lends itself to a solid threading of the worm on the hook, and gives great hook-ups. I find the shape helps prevent the trout from swallowing the hook. If you look at the hook on this website, I thread the middle of the worm (red wiggler) in the middle around the bend and what looks like a 45 degree angle of the hook I leave inside the worm and then bring the point out of the worm. This makes for a solid connection that is difficult to cast off the worm or the trout to steal your worm.

One of my favorite lines is the Nissin Pals SP Pro tapered fluorocarbon line. I just got back from one of my favorite creeks fishing the 4 meter length with 12 inches of "tactical nymph sighter" and the above set-up using the Nissin Air Stage Honryu 450. Guess what? Trout aggressively take worms even in the winter! Five casts, 4 trout were caught in about 20 minutes. I moved up to where the riffles dumped into a fairly nice pool, and caught 6 mountain whitefish casting up on the edge of the riffles letting the worm drift into the pool. Using the technique in the "Upstream" articles works.

Last week I was in the Portland area visiting relatives. Take care in sharing your passion for "Fixed Line" fishing and "garden hackle" flies. I found out my brother-in-law is a dry fly snob! I had my TenkaraBum Traveler 44 with me, and he was so snobby, he wouldn't even look at it! I showed him several "Brag" pictures and he really turned his nose up when he saw a couple of my nice catches on JDM spinning gear. I tried to give a couple of my relatives fly-rod spoons, but they said, "We won't fish with them." So as we end another year, I am thankful for this community that is much more open minded to enjoy trying new to us often, but often very traditional techniques from other places in the world to entice a fish to give us a thrill. Tight lines to all in 2020.

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